We truly had a Thanksgiving Day surprise: a 5-pound, 10 oz adorable little "turkey!" Our second daughter, Rivkah, arrived earlier than expected--almost 3 weeks early. She must have been afraid she was going to miss out on the yummy goodies her daddy and I were planning to fix, but instead we all got the hospital turkey 'special.' I'm not even sure that was real turkey, but no matter, we are thankful for what we did get: a happy, healthy little girl!
Our daughter Avigael is at her grandma's until I get home from the hospital on Sunday. She wasn't quite sure what to think of her new sister when she visited, but she was in better spirits than when we all had to troop into the hospital in the middle of the night. She was upset "baby sister is hurting mommy!" and that I had to be attached various machines. Thankfully the nurses were understanding, and let her stay in bed with me, like a protective puppy, until my husband's little cousin could pick her up before pre-op.
The vendor from Our365 made her rounds in the maternity ward to take the professional shots, but when she revealed the whopping $278 cost of their photo package, I was sure I could make do on my own. I took some macro shots, edited them, and even made the cute chocolate and lavender stripe DIY birth announcement above--in Microsoft Word. I don't have Photoshop or any other pricey photo editor, or Publisher. I started from scratch in a blank document, even making the stripes by hand, and it still only took about a half hour. We can order our own prints of my photos later--without paying $139 to own the copyright for the 6 photos the vendor took. And we can get the announcements printed at the copy shop too--on nice glossy card stock, for far less too.
I don't mean to sound cheap, but I can tell from the sales pitch the vendor gave--it's just more "buy this stuff new mom, because if you don't, you don't love your child like the mommies who do!" consumerism at work. I'm sure a lot of new moms can't afford fork over almost $300 to "commemorate" baby's first day.
My husband had to work all night Thursday and hadn't yet made it back in Friday morning when I got such a pitch from the sales lady, who also tried to push me into making a decision on the spot lest I loose the "special discount" (I'd hate to think how much that would've cost if almost $300 was the discounted price!) I thought that was kind of a cheap shot: it's easy to take advantage of all the hormones and stress of a mom stuck in her room by herself with a new baby a day after surgery (or a regular delivery).
She even stuck those 6 photos in a generic slide show with generic motivational quotes (the same one that everybody's "unique, special" moment gets stuck into) with some generic tear-jerker soft song about a mother's love. And that could be all mine, for just $49.99 more. Plus I could pick from several generic birth announcements and buy those too! And the keepsake key chains and coffee mugs for the grandparents or the T-shirt for the siblings...all were just another little, teensy "add on." Geesh, give me a break!
My mini lesson: it's OK to say no. It's OK not to buy into this ever-so-prevalent concept of needing to buy more and more stuff. It's OK not to spend a bunch of money, everybody should know that's not truly a measure of how much you love your baby and how much you're excited about her birth. You can still take nice photos, make pretty birth announcements, and all these things just by being creative! Make your own--and then how much more special is it!?